Takeo Program Information

The year 2015 marked the 30th anniversary of this sister city relationship.

Current programs

j02The program’s main activity is a middle school student exchange.  The exchange group consists of approximately 18 student ambassadors per city, selected in Sebastopol and Takeo.  The participants are in their 7th or the 8th grade year of study when selected during the fall application period.  Each group cycle lasts 2 years; in the first year, Takeo students visit and stay with their Sebastopol counterparts, and in the second year, Sebastopol students visit Takeo.  American and Japanese student ambassadors are paired with one another or matched in small groupings and homestay at each other’s houses for approximately 11 days in spring, experiencing their respective cities, cultures and lifestyles.  The student exchange offers adult cultural exchange opportunities, as well, by means of hosting visitors and traveling as part of an adult group or as a chaperone.

j04The application period occurs in the fall of even years (2016 will be an application year for the 2017-2018 group). Interested students and families are encouraged to attend informational meetings.  Please see our Upcoming Events page for details.

Many Sebastopol students, families, and citizens have had the unique opportunity to gain rich cultural experiences through the program, whether in Takeo or in Sebastopol.  They have created lifetime friendships bridging the Pacific Ocean and become part of the people to people diplomacy movement.

For more information, please contact us at takeo@sebastopolwf.org.

History of the Takeo program


In 1985, Sebastopol, California, and Yamauchi, Japan, signed a sister city charter as members of the Sister Cities International.  Since shortly after that time, Sebastopol World Friends has organized cultural exchanges between the two cities in collaboration with Takeo World Friends.

In 2008, Yamauchi merged with its neighboring towns and formed the new city of Takeo.  In 2011, a new sister city agreement was signed in Sebastopol by the mayors of the both cities.

j05In 2011, SWF received grants from Sister Cities International and the Japan Foundation for a Sustainable Development program. Eight citizens from our community visited Takeo to exchange ideas about sustainable development.

In 2012, in response to our community’s interest in sustainable development, SWF hosted a delegation of five college students from Kagoshima University in Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu Island, Japan, studying sustainability with specificity in Fair Trade.

The year 2015 marked the 30th anniversary of this sister city relationship.  

Learn about the 2017/2018 Sebastopol/Takeo Student Exchange

Information and Questions:
Meg Mizutani takeo@sebastopolwf.org 707-484-0245 

Wednesday, September 28, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Analy High School Library, 6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol, CA

Sunday, October 2, 4:00-5:00 pm
Sebastopol City Hall, 7120 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, CA

Monday, October 3, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Analy High School Library, 6950 Analy Ave, Sebastopol, CA 

Connect globally. Thrive locally.

Want more information?

Have questions about the Takeo Exchange Program, Please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.

Takeo Blog

Sebastopol World Friends return from Takeo City with presence

Sebastopol World Friends recently returned home from their trip to Takeo City, Japan in which 18 middle school students, three chaperones and 12 adults from the community visited the town’s sister city to celebrate the 31st year in unity.

“It shows other ways of being in the world,” Sebastopol Councilmember Patrick Slayter, who attended as the city’s liaison, said. “That’s a really important lesson learned only through the exchange.”

Out and About

In a nutshell, the trip has been exhilarating, exciting, and extremely fun!! Today we shadowed at our students' school and the teachers and students greeted us so warmly. It was really cool to spot all of the differences as well as the similarities between our two...

Middle School Shadow Day

What I learned from shadowing at a Japanese middle school…

Kids are able to have fun without being disrespectful or rude. They knew when they could or could not mess around and when the teacher started the class, they all go quiet.

The were so kind and showed so much hospitality. The whole school came out of their classrooms to give us a warm good bye.

Welcome to Takeo

Today in Japan we had lots of fun. We did origami, and played lots of games. Who knew that the Japanese played Uno and Life? We went to the Welcome dinner, and did the dances. One thing I will remember is doing Zumba with Takeo World Friends.